Century Solar is a full service solar integrator dedicated to providing the very best in engineering, products, installation and operations & maintenance of solar arrays, Battery Banks, Canopies, Carports, Deck Roof’s backup generators. Our team is comprised of NABCEP certified solar experts, licensed master electricians in GA, AL, MS, NC, SC, & TN, designers and installers—working together to serve our clients as a reliable and experienced resource in sustainable energy integration.
Home Solar System Financing
The cost of an average solar electric system can cost between $5,0000-$30,000 after rebates and incentives. Solar is an investment and like any other financial instrument there is a return on your investment after time. But unlike the stock market, the payback on your solar investment is guaranteed! The sun shines everyday. If you consider the fact that you will spend over $60,000 over the next 20 years, getting solar now makes sense. However, for too many people, that still represents too large of an up front payment. The good news is that our solar partners offer a variety of great solar financing options to help offset some of initial solar installation costs. In most cases, the monthly payment on any financing arrangement will still be less than the amount of savings on your electric bill. Low interest rates are available for a solar home financing for as little to $0 down!
PV systems can be designed to supply power to any type of electrical load at any service voltage. PV arrays can be mounted on the ground, rooftops and other structures that provide adequate protection, support and solar access. The site conditions usually dictate the best mounting system location and approach to use. Rooftops are very popular locations for installing PV arrays. Because they are elevated, roof mounts offer some physical protection and limited access to the array for safety, and usually provide better sun exposure. Rooftop PV installations also do not occupy space on the ground that might be needed for other purposes. Rooftop and other building mounted PV arrays must be structurally secured and any attachments and penetrations must be properly weather sealed. Available rooftop areas for mounting PV arrays may be limited by any number of factors, including required spaces about the array for installation and service, pathways and ventilation access for fire codes, wind load setbacks, and spaces for other equipment. Sloped roofs also present a significant fall hazard, and require appropriate fall protection systems and/or personal fall arrest systems (PFAS) for installers and maintenance workers. The layout of a PV array can have a significant effect on its natural cooling and operating temperatures. A landscape (horizontal) layout may have a slight benefit over a portrait (vertical) layout when considering the passive cooling of the modules. Landscape is when the dimension parallel to the eaves is longer than the dimension perpendicular to the eaves. In a landscape layout, air spends less time under the module before escaping and provides more uniform cooling. Standoff mounts operate coolest when they are mounted at least 3 inches above a roof.
Generally, ground mount solar panels cost a bit more than rooftop solar on a per-watt basis because of additional labor and permitting that may be required for the installation. That being said, if your property isn’t ideal for rooftop solar, installing a ground-mounted system can actually save you money
Standoff mounting, referred to by some as flush mounting, uses standoffs attached to the roof to support rails on which PV modules are attached. This is the most common method for residential installations.
Century Solar Systems specializes in Solar energy Installations. We provide a range of solar panels, string inverters, micro-inverters, balance of systems, monitoring systems and other high quality equipment. We go above and beyond your expectation to deliver, design and install solar energy systems to your needs. We deliver on time with perfection. Century Solar Systems is with you to the end and with years of experience serving the Atlanta Metro area, Century Solar Systems, Inc., is your solution for all your solar installation needs. We take great pride in our extreme professionalism, timeliness and superior customer service on every job. We make sure to develop a lasting relationship, so that the next time service is needed, there will be no question who to call.
With electric bills increasing, more and more homeowners want to be more aware of how and when they consume energy so they can better manage their energy consumption and lower their costs and impact on the environment.
Consumption Monitoring solutions collect, store, and report on your electric usage over time.
Most Solar Systems provide the ability to track energy production while Net Meters provide the ability to track net delivery or consumption; but, neither provide the ability to track total consumption.
What does a solar lease/solar PPA look like?
Advantages of a Solar Lease:
The first and most obvious advantage of a solar lease is that you don’t have to come up with a large sum of cash to pay the large upfront capital cost to buy a system.
Often it is possible to get a zero down solar lease deal where your monthly repayments are lower than the amount you save on your utility bill, so you profit each month without ever making an investment. I don’t think people realize how rare it is to be able to make a profit, even a small one, without laying out any investment up front.
A second potential advantage of a lease is that sometimes the lessor may be responsible for maintenance of the panels. This means that as the homeowner you do not have to worry about equipment failure.
Disadvantages of a Solar Lease:
The first disadvantage of a solar lease is that usually they are very long term contracts. This means you are going to be tied to paying a monthly payment to the owner of the solar panels, ( the lessor ) for 15-25 years.
A solar lease can also create difficulties if you go to sell your property during this time. Usually a lessor will require that if you sell your house during the lease term that the purchaser of the house take over the assignment of the solar lease. However, an issue could arrive if by that time there are cheaper and better solar products available and a potential purchaser does not wish to take over the lease, In this case you may be required to pay a break fee to the leasing company.
However, there are some specific further disadvantages of a Solar PPA agreement. Usually they have an uplift in pricing each year so that the electricity you purchase from the solar panels on your roof actually goes up in price over time. However, usually this escalation is at a lower percentage than the average annual increase in power prices charged by the utility.
Advantages of buying Solar Energy Solar System:
When we talk about buying a solar panels for your home we are not necessarily talking about you forking out a large lump of cash upfront. Some people do this but most people that buy their solar panels still use some form of finance to do this. The most common is a home equity line of credit. Because this type of facility is secured over your home, along with the rest of your home loan, the finance rate on this is usually lower than any other form of finance.
What we mean when we say “buy your solar system outright” is a transaction where you become the owner of the panels.
The advantage of this is that you have total freedom over what you do with the panels and are not tied to monthly payments for a long period of time.
Generally buying is a better economic bet because home backed finance is the cheapest type of finance. Solar leasing companies have to make money, and, even though you’re likely to save by paying leasing companies for your electricity as opposed to forking money over to your utility, leasing companies will still be making money off of you. A leasing company will pocket all solar incentives you’d otherwise get if you bought the system. If you buy, you pocket all of the incentives and all of the long-term electricity savings yourself.
If a solar system is facing multiple angles, meaning some panels are facing south, some east, and some west, then micro-inverters are the way to go. Or, if you have shading issues from trees or a large chimney, again micro-inverters would be best. In these situations, the solar panels will be producing different amounts of electricity at different times of the day, but micro-inverters will ensure you harvest all of the energy, while with a standard inverter you will lose some of this production. With solar panels all facing one direction on your system, and you have marginal shading issues, then your best option is a standard inverter. You’ll get about the same production, without paying the higher cost.
Buying offers you more flexibility and freedom.
You have more freedom in terms of the size system you put on your home, the brand of solar panels you choose and the type of inverter you choose. Solar PPA companies tend to control all of these choices for you and some leasing companies may do so as well.
Another way in which you gain significantly more flexibility by buying a system is there are a lot more small solar companies in the market that can provide you more personalized service.
Another advantage of buying a solar system is that you do not have to deal with the solar transfer issue on the sale of your house.
When you buy solar outright it adds value to your home but here is a lot of debate about the extent to which solar panels increase the value of your house. Some say they increase the value of your house by as much as they cost and others will argue they actually add little value to a home. In truth they would probably add value in some buyers minds but less value in others.
Disadvantages of buying Solar Energy Solar System.
Obviously, the first disadvantage is that you have to pay for them. This payment can either come from savings or a loan of some type.
The second disadvantage is that you are responsible for the maintenance of the system.
Sometimes solar panel and inverter manufacturers will require you to test equipment if you believe it is faulty and sometimes they will want you to post it to them for them to test before they determine if the faulty is a warrantable claim. All of these things usually get sorted out but it is a bit of a drag and solar installation companies are sometimes slow to help because there is no revenue to be made from helping you once your solar is installed (HINT Use good brands of solar panels and inverters and these issues will be quite rare and fairly painless to sort out if they happen.
SolarReviews last word on the lease vs buy solar debate:
If I had the income that meant I can use the Federal Tax Credit I would buy.
There are many more small installers with low overheads that sell cash systems and these small installers usually can offer more personalized service than the large solar installers.
However, if you don’t have savings, if you cant use the 30% federal solar tax credit yourself (you need taxable income before a tax credit is valuable to you) or if you can’t get a home equity line of credit easily, then some of the lease and PPA products offered by the larger solar installers are still really good. Many are zero down, with monthly payments less than the monthly savings.
How can you go wrong with this, especially when the monthly savings will just increase over time as power prices rise. Just be patient if you do go with one of the large solar installers because these companies are growing very fast and most of them have had customer service issues (which is often why their reviews are amongst the worst on this site. With these companies if you rely on any statement they make ensure that you have it in writing. The salespeople often make promises that the installation people cant meet.
Financing Available / Learn Your Financing Options
Solar loans are a great solar panel financing option if you want to buy your system. With many solar energy loans, you can finance the entire cost of your system. These loans may be secured (using your property as collateral) or unsecured.
Top 4 considerations for solar loans:
Your monthly savings on your electric bills should be greater than the loan’s monthly payment, allowing you to start saving money fast.
Save 40 to 70 percent on electricity costs over the lifetime of your system, as compared to doing nothing, by choosing a loan as your solar panel financing option.
Solar loans have the same basic structure, terms and conditions as other home improvement loans. Some states even offer subsidized solar energy loans with below-market interest rates.
By buying your system outright, you are eligible for financial incentives like the federal investment tax credit (ITC). Interest on secured solar loans may also be tax deductible, which means additional savings on your income taxes.
Do you want a secured or unsecured option?
Solar energy loans can be divided into two categories. Secured loans require an asset that will serve as collateral for the loan – in most cases, that asset will be your home. Unsecured loans do not require any collateral other than the solar panel system itself. Both loan categories have implications for the borrower.
Solar panel loans are similar to home improvement loans that homeowners have used for decades to build a deck or add a second bathroom to their homes. When a homeowner borrows money from a lender, they agree to pay it back, plus interest, in monthly installments over the loan term.
Solar panel loans have the same basic considerations as other types of loans:
Lower interest rates result in lower overall costs for borrowers.
Loans with shorter terms will generally have higher monthly payments and lower total costs over the life of the loan.
Solar panel loans can be either secured or unsecured, which results in a wide array of interest rates, term lengths, and credit requirements among loan offerings.
One very important difference
There is one very important difference between solar panel loans and other home improvement loans: a solar panel loan allows you to own an asset that generates significant financial value. This includes both the value of electricity generated by the solar panel system over its lifespan and the 30% federal investment tax credit and other applicable rebates and incentives like solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs). While a new kitchen or deck is a nice addition to your home, they do not offer the same type of financial benefits.
How much are you willing to pay for each monthly loan installment?
The amount you want to pay each month will impact the interest rate and the length of the loan. Loans with longer terms will have smaller monthly payments, but you will pay more in interest over the life of the loan. In contrast, payments on solar energy loans with shorter terms may exceed your monthly utility bill savings, but they offer a better value because you pay less in interest over the life of the loan.